Bolton publishes book on how Cambridge spies are depicted in literature and film

Published: January 21, 2021

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Jonathan Bolton, Hollifield professor and chair of the Department of English, recently published a new book, "The Blunt Affair: Official secrecy and treason in literature, television and film, 1980-89."

The case of the Cambridge spies, a group of British spies who passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II, has long captured the public's attention, but perhaps never more so than in the wake of Anthony Blunt's exposure as the fourth man in 1979. With the Cold War intensifying, patriotism running high during the Falklands War and the AIDS crisis leading to widespread homophobia, these notorious traitors were more relevant than ever.

This book, published by Manchester University Press, explores how they were depicted in literature, television and film throughout the 1980s. Examining works by an array of distinguished writers, including Dennis Potter, Alan Bennett, Tom Stoppard and John le Carré, it sheds new light on the affair, asking why such privileged young men chose to betray their country, whether loyalty to one's friends is more important than patriotism and whether we can really trust the intelligence services.

To access Bolton's book, click here.

Submitted by: Vicky Santos